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Lead Image



Production Method




The Common Press

Binding and case designed by Marianne Dages
Endsheets designed and printed by Marc Blumthal
Typesetting by Tricia Treacy
Artwork designed and printed by Ivanco Talevski, Matt Neff, Tricia Treacy, Marianne Dages, and Marc Blumthal



The Common Press

Is this a book or a piece of art? Who says art and design are so different? Inspired by a collection of “ephemera and old printing blocks” which focused on early chemistry and alchemy, five artists collaborated on the printing and design of this fascinating, limited edition work. This book is a piece of art worthy of display in museums or a sophisticated private collection. 




Quantity Produced


Production Cost

Production Time

5 months

Dimensions (Width × Height × Depth)

7 × 10 × 3/4 in

Page Count


Paper Stock

Johannot 240 gsm / French Paper / Butcher Off-White / Dark Gray Elephant Hide

Number of Colors



Custom long binding



This piece is available for purchase for $700.00

Description ---

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Project Description

Chymia is a collaborative Common Book designed and printed by the faculty and staff of The Common Press at The University of Pennsylvania in 2012. The contributing artists are Marc Blumthal, Marianne Dages, Matt Neff, Ivanco Talevski, and Tricia Treacy. The book's genesis was a box of ephemera and old printing blocks given to the press by the university library on the subject of early chemistry and alchemy. The artist's each researched the subject matter and responded to the collection in their own print medium. A set of letterpress prints from the original blocks accompanies each edition.

Production Lesson(s)

The Common Press was founded in 2005 and its mission is to forward printmaking by experimenting with manual and digital image making, exploring new processes and drawing from rich collections of a research university. This book was a collaboration between five artists who work in different mediums and in different styles who's artwork came together in exciting and unexpected ways. We hope to continue this direction in future projects.”

Post Author

Author Picture

Duncan Robertson

Former intern at UnderConsideration LLC.

More: Online / On Twitter


Date Published

March 18, 2013


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About UnderConsideration

UnderConsideration is a graphic design enterprise that runs a network of blogs, publishes books, organizes live events and judged competitions, and designs for clients.


Brand New / Displaying opinions and focusing solely on corporate and brand identity work.

Art of the Menu / Cataloguing the underrated creativity of menus from around the world.

Quipsologies / Chronicling the most curious, creative, and notable projects, stories, and events of the graphic design industry on a daily basis.

Speak Up (2002 – 2009) / Discussing, and looking for, what is relevant in, and the relevance of, graphic design. Archives Only.

Word It (2003 – 2010) / Encouraging creative diversity in the community through monthly, one-word challenges. Archives Only.

Brand New Classroom (2010 – 2011) / Providing a space for critique and opinions on student identity workArchives Only.

graphic design

Department of Design / Designing corporate and brand identities and full development of printed and digital matter for clients.


The 2010 FPO Awards / 2011, self-published.

The 2010 Brand New Awards / 2011, self-published.

Flaunt: Designing effective, compelling and memorable portfolios of creative work / 2010, self-published.

Events & Judged Competitions

Brand New Conference / A one-day event on the development of corporate and brand identity projects by some of today’s most active and influential practitioners from around the world.

Brand New Awards / Celebrating the best identity work produced around the world.

FPO Awards / Celebrating the best print work from around the world.


Graphic Design, Referenced: A Visual Guide to the Language, Applications, and History of Graphic Design / 2009, Rockport.

Women of Design: Influence and Inspiration from the Original Trailblazers to the New Groundbreakers / 2008, HOW Books.

The Word It Book: Speak Up Presents a Gallery of Interpreted Words / 2007, HOW Books.

The End